Table 1

Coding schema for newspaper articles

Quote from
patient, relative
or charity
Direct or paraphrased quote from a patient
with the illness in question, relative or
advocacy organisation
Quote from
Quote from a healthcare professional in
charge of the patient's care or spokesperson
for government organisations, etc.
Association with
Any article where a person portrayed as
having a mental illness or under the
influence of drugs/alcohol engages in
criminal or dangerous activity where others
are put at risk or harmed. Suicide or self-harm
is not included in this category
Mention of
Either specific (e.g. Prozac), general (anti-depressants,
cognitive–behavioural therapy),
alternative (mindfulness, yoga) or relating
to the Mental Health Act 1983 where
treatment is noted under a compulsory
treatment order
Substance misuseArticles relating to addiction, overdose or
psychiatric effects of substance misuse were
classified as relating to mental health.
Physical effects of drug usage, including
side-effects, were classified under physical
System failure/
Any article where substandard care is
delivered by a single person or on an
organisational level, resulting in adverse
outcomes. Shortcomings range from IT
failures and changes in social policy to
deliberate mistreatment
in research
Articles where a new diagnostic method,
treatment or better understanding of a
named disease is reached
Where the primary purpose of the article
is to transmit information about a particular
disease profile or set of symptoms or
charity efforts. For example Autism
Awareness Week, United Nations World
Down Syndrome Day, ‘Check ’Em Tuesday’
– a campaign run by The Sun to increase
uptake of self-screening for breast cancer